Emily Pawlowski | Echo
Six people sat in a circle, brought together by one thing: books.
The young adult book club met for the first time this year on Wednesday, March 27. They discussed "Hey Kiddo," an autobiographical graphic novel by Jarrett Krosoczka.
"I wanted to start this year with something that's a quick read," senior Bri Carson said. "Not necessarily easy, because I know that the topic is probably going to be really hard; it's about a young man who was raised by his grandparents and that's always a difficult topic."
Despite its intended middle grade audience, "Hey Kiddo" gave the college students a lot to discuss. Some of the more complex parts of the book focus on complex issues such as drug addiction and bullying.
The group spent an hour talking about the unique storytelling of graphic novels, the complexity of the characters and how mature themes can be explained to younger audiences.
"We get into really deep topics and we discuss in a safe place and it's chance to get to know other people, it's a chance to get to know their perspectives," Carson said.
Seeing new perspectives was the inspiration for the club's creation.
Last year, Carie King, assistant professor of English, discussed the significance of young adult literature with her English methods class. As aspiring teachers, they wanted to find ways to connect with future students through books.
"There are a lot of books out there that I haven't read," King said. "So I'm reading many of these books along with my own children. But also, reading them to experience this generation - what is resonating with junior high and high school kids today?"
Though it was started as a group for English education majors, the book club is open to students of all majors. The group invites anyone who enjoys reading young adult books and talking about them with others.
Senior Leila Bragg, one of the founding English education majors, welcomes the chance to talk with new members.
"Just getting to be with like-minded people who enjoy this stuff is great," said Bragg. "And learning from other people and their perspectives, because that's what this is all about."
The book club will meet again April 24, from 4-5 p.m. in the Relief Room in Reade. They will be discussing "Scythe" by Neal Shusterman.